WWII highlights from the Truman Library’s archives and collections
Marching to Victory: The Battle of the Bulge
Thursday, January 25, 1945
How did the Allied forces win the bloodiest American battle of the deadliest war in human history?
On December 16, 1944, at the beginning of a historically frigid winter, the Germans launched what would be their final major offensive of World War II. Over the course of six weeks, Allied forces thwarted the German armies’ attempts to split them. The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest battle for American forces on the Western Front during WWII – 20,000 Americans were killed in this battle; tens of thousands more were wounded, missing, or captured. Despite these great losses, the Battle of the Bulge ended with an Allied victory 75 years ago today.
Gov. Parson, Archivist Ferriero and Clifton Truman Daniel Break Ground on Library
The Truman Library’s transformative renovation officially kicked off on September 5 with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero, Missouri State Senator John Rizzo, the president’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel as well as many other local officials and friends of the Truman Library.
Highlights of the special remarks made from a few of our distinguished speakers include the following:
More than 125 friends, donors, board members and local dignitaries joined us for a very special day that will go into the books as one of the great days in the history of the Truman Library. The historic ceremony drew the attention of local media, with coverage from Fox 4, KMBC, KCTV 5, The Examiner and more.
The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is currently closed for a transformative renovation. A new museum entrance and permanent exhibition are scheduled for completion this fall in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Truman’s ascension to the presidency. Tour the new museum virtually in this fly-through video:
We invite you to learn more about this historic campaign and how you can get involved here, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates on the project.
Meanwhile, if you are planning a trip to the Kansas City area, we encourage you to visit the other Truman-related sites in Independence and the surrounding areas: Read More
History Happy Hour: In the Kitchen with Bess
Friday, August 16, 2019 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Truman Library Institute
5151 Troost Ave., Ste. 300
Kansas City, MO 64110
On Friday, August 16, the Truman Library is hosting a History Happy Hour event featuring one of the Truman Library’s archivists, Tammy K. Williams. This event takes place at the Truman Library Institute in Kansas City and will feature Williams exploring Bess Truman’s recipe box, including recipes that she gave out and received, food trends in the 1940s and 1950s, and some of the Truman family favorite foods and meals.
How Truman Became the Nominee for Vice President
Harry Truman did not want to be Vice President and he wasn’t shy about saying so to anyone who asked him, from his colleagues in the Senate to members of his family. “It is funny how some people would give a fortune to be as close as I am to it and I don’t want it,” he wrote to Margaret on July 9, 1944, just 12 days before he would ultimately accept the Democratic Party’s nomination.
10 Things to See Before the Truman Library Closes for a Year
The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum recently announced a significant renovation that will close the Library for a year. Though the closing date, July 22, is approaching, there are still opportunities for guests to step into Harry and Bess Truman’s world before the doors close.
History Happy Hour: Women at War with Natalie Walker
Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
3 Trails Brewing
111 N. Main St.
Independence, MO 64050
On Friday, July 12, the Truman Library is hosting a History Happy Hour event featuring Truman Library Institute Museum / Archives Technician Natalie Walker. This event takes place at 3 Trails Brewing in on the Independence Square and will feature Walker examining what followed President Truman’s landmark decision to sign the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act (June 12, 1948). Walker will discuss the impact of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act through the fascinating story of Ernie Wagner, who served in the Air Force in the Korean War. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look of the Truman Library’s extensive collection as Walker uses artifacts and photos from Wagner to tell her story.
History Happy Hour: World War I and its Aftermath with Garrett Peck
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Tom’s Town Distilling Company
On Thursday, June 6, the Truman Library is partnering with the National World War I Museum and Memorial for a History Happy Hour event featuring author and historian Garrett Peck. This special event takes place at Tom’s Town Distilling Company and will feature Peck discussing his latest book, The Great War in America: World War I and Its Aftermath, which examines the American experience during World War I and the unexpected changes that rocked the country in its immediate aftermath — the Red Scare, race riots, women’s suffrage and Prohibition, particularly timely on the centennial of the Armistice. Read More
On June 25, 1948, Harry S. Truman signed the Displaced Persons Act of 1948. In its most basic sense, the act would assist in the resettlement of thousands of European refugees (largely through granting American visas) who had been displaced from their home countries due to World War II. Read More
The Courtship of Harry and Bess
Harry S. Truman and Bess Wallace carried on a nine-year courtship almost entirely through letters and some supervised visits. Harry first met Bess when they attended Sunday school together in 1890. Harry was six years old and Bess was five.
By 1910, Harry began what some call his longest “campaign” — the courtship of Bess Wallace. Nine years after sending his first letter, Harry and Bess married on June 28, 1919.
Below are a selection of letters, one from each year of their courtship, that give brief insights into Harry’s feelings for Bess and his determination to one day wed the “one girl in the world” for him.